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    The taller and heavier you are, chances of getting deadly blood clots

    7:45 PM, Jun 6, 2011   |    comments
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    UNDATED (KTHV) -- Being tall and overweight could increase your risk of a deadly blood clot.

    There's a new study that could save your life.

    At 6'8', weighing 280 pounds, John Kearns was almost cut down when he developed a potentially life threatening blood clot.

    He'd had 8 knee surgeries on his left leg.

    Doctors point to his height and weight as being part of the reason. Dr. Nicholas Morrissey with NY-Presbyterian Columbia Hospital says, "It takes a longer time for the blood to travel from the bottom of the feet back up to the heart...so the blood is sitting without circulating."

    A new study finds tall and obese men have an increased risk of blood clotting that can lead to pulmonary embolism.  That's when the clot breaks free and travels to the lungs, which can be deadly.

    Compared to men of average heigth and weight, obese, tall men have a five times higher risk of blood clots.  Tall is defined as six feet or taller. Experts point out that more research is needed to confirm whether being tall is really an additional risk factor.

    Dr. Morrissey continues, "In the absence of other risk factors, I would say do not lose any sleep over this."

    The study also found that women, 5'6" or taller, who were also obese, had a 3-times higher risk of blood clots.

    There was no increased risk for taller women of normal weight.

    Researchers say probably because most women don't get tall enough.

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